The fact was this: nothing kept Shilo from leaving. The only door in the Wallace house that remained locked - or, at least, off-limits - was that which led to the basement. She had discovered (or re-discovered, perhaps, since how could a false fireplace escape her notice for her whole life? …The same way everything else had?) it a week after the Opera, when she finally found it in herself to move, even explore. What she found at the bottom of the staircase turned her stomach and undid at least fifty percent of the progress she thought she had made. And so, she left it alone. But that was it. Even all the windows had stayed open for a few days, before she realized the reason they needed to be kept shut had less to do with her ability to escape through them and more to do with the disgusting quality of the air hanging just outside them. Still, now, at least, she left them unlatched.
In a perfect, fantasy world, maybe, she could simply crawl into her closet and be, without effort, whisked away to someone safe, magical, and far away from Sanitarium Island. There, she might have real tea with real rabbits, never wear a wig again, and - most importantly - be healthy. Or happy. Really, she would take either.
Her world was not perfect, nor fantastic. The best she could hope for would be one, miraculous day when her heart stopped pounding itself into a panic when her fingers brushed the handle of the front door. The last two days, she kept her wrist communicator - previously disguarded, under her bed - strapped on so that the familiar chime of blood pressure warning! might snap her out of her all-too dangerous house-leaving mission before…well, before it killed her.
But today would be different, she had already decided, to her own dismay, moments after she realized what she was doing. Today, she made the effort and discarded her nightgown for something that looked less like a child’s slip and more like a dress. She even wore a wig she hadn’t touched in ages - a dark one, with blunt bangs (something she insisted upon having after seeing the Tao of Mag concert) - to hide her face. It made her feel sneaky and invisible, something she loved. Years of practice made her an expert sneak and if she could escape a prison with her father-warden standing right outside her door, then moving, unnoticed, in a crowd full of people - who could probably care less for her or her anxieties or triumphs - would be nothing. Time to experiment with the living.
She made it through the door and onto the front steps. In her boots, she teetered on the edge of the first. Impulsively glanced behind, just to be sure no men - or ghosts - would be chasing after her, screaming bloody murder and dragging her back inside, where it was “safe”. Deep, even breaths, Shilo. If she had an attack, there would be no “medicine” to relieve her, now. Deep. Even. Breath. Down the first step, then the next, and soon, the gate closed behind her.